Taking the new Space Marines Codex out for a spin.

Played a 3 on 3 team game of 40k on Sunday night. Tau / Tau / Orks vs. Eldar / Dark Angels / Space Marines; 1250 pts each. A bit of a fiasco, as the Tau players once again brought riptides to the board (one of them brought 2; it’s seriously all he fields). Eldar and Dark Angels got bogged down fighting the one Tau player, so my Space Marines were left to defend our objective against the other 2/3 of the army. Thoughts? Well:

I like the new codex. I obviously haven’t had the chance to try much of it, but I like that a fair bit of stuff that I like got cheaper. Chronus? 20 points cheaper and now grants his tank It Will Not Die. Predator Annihilators? Way cheaper (I’d only recently started fielding these again, and I think I’ll be a lot more likely to now). Even my assault ironclad got about 10 points cheaper (although the new description of Ironclad Assault Launchers doesn’t look to grant Stealth any more).

I like the Chapter Tactics, and I particularly like that you can ally different chapters. My own chapter, the Unyielding, has occasionally picked up lost members from other chapters over the centuries, and now I can represent that. I’d have preferred a more flexible system that allowed me to build my own chapter-specific tactics, but this will do, and is probably much easier to keep balanced. Regardless, it lets me field more than one set of Tactics simultaneously via the ally options, so that lets me get some extra flavour in.

I’m sad that they didn’t put Deathwatch Kill Teams into the book. I realise they’d be ridiculous to try and balance, but I had high hopes. I also hoped to see sternguard get more heavy weapon options and relentless, but that was pretty much a pipe dream. There are some fun Chapter Relics I’m looking forward to trying out. More on the codex later, as I make further use of it. Still not a fan of the new Centurions, but I’ll probably look into trying them out at some point, just to see if I’m wrong. I just think they’re going to be way too fragile. I feel like I saw that they’re Slow and Purposeful; can I drop pod those guys? I’m going to have to keep reading.

Oh, and random psychic powers are dumb. Think about all the fluff behind Space Marine Librarians. These are not individuals that stick one hand in the warp and point the other at their enemy, hoping for the best. The idea that they’d even use a power of this nature if they had no control over it is ridiculous.

But back to Sunday night. So what did my list look like?

Main army was Imperial fists, with 2x Tactical Squads, a Captain, and a couple devastator squads (1 all plasma, 1 all heavy bolters). Allied detachment was Iron Hands, with a Master of the Forge (bike and conversion beamer), my assault ironclad, a scout squad and a vindicator. The assault ironclad failed miserably this time; largely failing to wound with the heavy flamers, and then failing the charge. He drew a lot of fire, but that’s about it. The plasma devastators (also cheaper now, by a lot!) did about as well. 2 died to gets hot rolls, and the rest were shot to bits by a tau stealth team. The MOTF did decently well, punching blast sized holes in various units over the course of the battle, and the vindicator emerged totally unscathed (and I cannot say the same for its targets). The remaining infantry (I can’t even recall ever fielding 2 full tactical squads before… *ever*) held their own pretty well, considering they were consistently shot at by Tau and charged by Orks.

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Before: Weakened by fusion blaster fire and various other horrible ranged attacks, my infantry prepare to face down the advancing horde and their battle wagon of rolling death and mayhem.

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During: Got some good shots in (my heavy bolter devastators were probably the most effective unit in the battle) and thinned the attacking ranks.

After (not shown): Almost all of the infantry were taken out by the rolling death wheel or whatever was on the front of the battle wagon. A Tau Hammerhead’s rail rifle took down my captain, and I was left with three tactical marines, 1 scout, and 1 devastator. By the end of the third turn (our last of the night), two more tactical marines had laid down their lives, but the battle wagon was destroyed, and I had three infantry left in that corner, one of which was a lone tactical marine standing his ground 2 inches from the objective. He will soon be named.

All in all a great game, and a fun introduction to the new codex. Biggest issue? Riptides. They shouldn’t be, but we mostly play for fun, so we haven’t really been fielding to deal with them, and now our group’s meta is getting all out of whack. Just a metric tonne of monstrous creatures meandering all over every battlefield. I’ve decided it’s time to make those riptides look less desirable. With that in mind, I’m building a new series of lists, to be held in reserve until I face those riptides again.

If that happens soon, you may get to hear a little more about it.

Edit: apparently no drop pod for the centurions. They can take a land raider, which might be okay, but lacks the first turn punch I’m going to give the riptides. I might give them a try later, though.

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